Thursday, November 22, 2007

Comfort in literature

The opening paragraphs of the novel I finally cast upon yesterday as most suitable for restorative/light rereading, after various failed attempts to lay hands on other favorite books and/or false starts with ones I have read too many times already (it's Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse, which I read for the first time a couple years ago and liked very much although I find it not equal to Linnets and Valerians, the novel of hers I reread countless times as a child):
The carriage gave another lurch, and Maria Merryweather, Miss Heliotrope, and Wiggins once more fell into each other's arms, sighed, gasped, righted themselves, and fixed their attention upon those objects which were for each of them at this trying moment the source of courage and strength.

Maria gazed at her boots. Miss Heliotrope restored her spectacles to their proper position, picked up the worn brown volume of French essays from the floor, popped a peppermint into her mouth, and peered once more in the dim light at the wiggly black print on the yellowed page. Wiggins meanwhile pursued with his tongue the taste of the long-since-digested dinner that still lingered among his whiskers.

Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people--those who find comfort in literature, those who find comfort in personal adornment, and those who find comfort in food; and Miss Heliotrope, Maria, and Wiggins were typical representatives of their own sort of people.

1 comment:

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